October 31, 2014

They're a Knockout!


We made it friends! It’s finally Friday and I dunno about you, but I’m so ready for the weekend!! Tomorrow I’ll be zooming down the race track in a Lexus RC F! Being that I’m originally from Indiana, I kinda have a thing for racing. It’s not a hardcore passion or anything, but I do enjoy watching it every now and then and playing racing video games. I won’t have to pretend I’m on a racetrack tomorrow though! It will be the real in living color thing. I’m geeked!

I'll be zooming down the track in this puppy right here.
~ photo source ~

In-between everything that has gone on this week, a little Divinity decided to pop out in full force. If you missed the first one, here is last weeks find! I saw this little bloom early one the morning and it seemed to be trying it’s best to touch the sky. They are called knockout roses, supposedly because the rain makes them shrink (or knocks them out) and the sun opens them back up! It had rained that morning and so by that afternoon, it had opened up (due to the sun shinning brightly) welcoming all that passed by to revel in its beauty. I love really bright colors, especially in flowers. Whenever I see things like this it just makes me smile.

When I’m out and about I’m always looking for Divinity moments. A lot of times for me, it happens early in the morning when the sun rises and there is a light fog just hanging around and plush dew drops are on the blades of grass.

Did you find The Divine lurking in unknown places that you didn't expect this week? Normally they just pop out at me at random times,  but I think because I was looking for them they came out more than usual. I've already tagged my photo with #DivineFriday on Instagram. Have you? Check out what other people are posting and 'heart' their photos. Let's spread the love.  :)


October 29, 2014

Portion Control

Salutations all!

I hope that everyone is having a great day thus far!  Mine was rather wacky and stressful, but I took it all in stride. :) I'm actually quite proud of myself really. Normally when I'm aggravated or upset I just want to soothe it with a nice big meal or junk food. It acts as a salve of sorts, ya know? A yummy salve that generally involves some sort of cheesy goodness! ha ha. However, I decided to take a different path. 

The thing that I realized about how I was eating and how I'm eating now, is that I feel much better in my own skin. And quite frankly I feel more confident! Whenever I've tried to live a healthier life in the past, I was successful because I followed the rules. Unfortunately (since I gained it all back) I don't think I really noticed that I felt better and not so heavy and weighed down. 
~ pun intended :op ~

I'm still struggling with portion sizes, specifically for dinner but I think I'm starting to grasp things better. For any of you struggling with portions like myself, Everyday Health has 10 great tips to help with portion control. You'd be surprised by what you think a serving size is as opposed to what it really is. Here are a few tips they have..

Learn how to estimate serving sizes. ‘Ballpark’ food portion sizes by estimating serving sizes in comparison to known objects,” says Rose Clifford, RD, clinical dietitian in the department of pharmacy services at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. “For example, three ounces of cooked meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.” Other easy measurements to eyeball include:
  • ½ cup is the size of an ice cream scoop
  • 1 cup is the size of a tennis ball
  • 1 ounce of cheese is the size of a domino

 Use portion control dishware. Pick out smaller plates, bowls, cups, and glassware in your kitchen and measure what they hold. You might find that a bowl you thought held 8 ounces of soup actually holds 16, meaning you’ve been eating twice what you planned.

If you want to check out the rest of the tips, you can go here to check things out and snoop around. What other tips and tricks do you use to control your portions? Let us know!


October 27, 2014

Weekly Wishes #25

 Greetings Friends!
Its that time again for weekly wishes! Did you set any goals for last week? If so, how did they go? Are you just joining me? Let me explain what happens for Weekly Wishes..

The Happenings: You share your weekly, monthly, or yearly goals/wishes/achievements and you get to be a part of this big group of people that are doing the same thing. Yay! Wanna join in? Check out The Nectar Collective and add a link to your blog!


Happy Monday all! Look at me.. I'm actually doing my Weekly Wishes post on a Monday. :) Yay! I hope you had a great weekend. I stayed pretty busy by going to the movies, doing a little shopping, and going to The Taste of Atlanta. For years now, I've been wanting to go to THE Taste of Chicago! People have always raved about it since forever.. I kinda feel like I don't have to go anymore since there is one in Atlanta now. ::: shrugs ::: In truth I'll probably still go at some point, just to see what the hype is all about. Plus, who doesn't love a trip to The Windy City? Did you get all of your goals accomplished from last week?

Last Weeks Wishes

  • Okay, so I didn't do any studying for coding last week... BUT! I did just do some before we started having this little conversation. Or rather, I tried to.. there are some buffering issues. I'll work it out later.
  • I talked about journaling and meditating last week. I didn't do it everyday, but I did get some in. Still in a win in my eyes. I used to do some hard core journaling when I was younger. I'm talking about writing every.single.day. Everything was such a big deal back then and it seemed worthy of writing it down. I guess my memoir has already been written! Hee hee..
  • I needed to make a coaster and cup warmer set last week and I totally knocked it out of the park. In fact, I made two. I wasn't all that happy with the color combos, hence how the 2nd one was born. I told the guy I was making them for that he could choose either one. He actually ended up buying them both to my delight (and surprise)! Somebody high five me! ^5 :)


This Weeks Wishes

  • I've really been pushing myself to stay up late, for whatever reason. I suppose that I'm just trying to get a little bit more time out of the day. I've been paying for it, so now it's time to get some rest! It's no fun waking up in a pool of drool because you were sleeping so hard from self inflicted exhaustion. lol. 

  • I've got quite a few crochet projects going on right now and I'd really like to do a little bit of work on them everyday. I can't say that this will be a very hard goal since I am addicted to crocheting, but a worthy goal nonetheless.
I'm calling this one a lite week. My brain is kinda full at the moment trying to figure out some things. I hope that you have great goals this week and get them all accomplished. :)



October 24, 2014

Beauty is Everywhere

Greetings friends!

I think Friday is the perfect day for a little beauty and inspiration. You can really find beautiful things anywhere you are whether it be in a city, out in the country or in nature. It's been said that when you notice or see something beautiful, then you are seeing The Divine right here on earth. I thought I would share my divine moment here with you today. 

Everyday I'm at work I see these plants. I'm not really sure what they are but they always look so beautiful, especially in the late morning when the sun is high in the sky. When I see them it's almost like they're glowing with this beautiful energy that surrounds them. Looking at them makes me  think of walking through a great big field of wildflowers and just lazing about and enjoying the day. 

Hey friends... How about we start a thing together? Let's make it an Instagram situation! I'm going to start taking pictures of the beautiful things that I see day to day and post them here on Friday's. I'll also share them on my Instagram @ASparkleThe1 using the hashtag 

I look forward to seeing all of your pictures! Today and everyday, go forth looking for the beautiful things in your life! Have a great weekend!


October 22, 2014

Meal Planning

Greetings Friends!

It's weight loss Wednesday yet again and today's topic is food glorious food! I've recently started back trying to really watch what I eat. From the different things that I've read, quite a few recommend not counting calories and that there's no need to if you are eating healthy whole foods. Let's be real here... That's all great in theory, but in this food obsessed nation that's all a magical magical lie!

Losing weight is all about expending more energy than calories consumed, right? Right.
And what's that called?
What do you do with math??
You count!
Now were back to counting calories...

Now don't get me wrong, that might be the way to go once you've mastered adding those 5-6 fruits and vegetables and 8 glasses of H2O into your everyday diet. As for my beginner ass, that's not gonna work so much.. My mind says, "Oh! We're not counting calories? Okay.. Let's not count that foot-long chili cheese dog and fries, because it's okay. We're not counting anyway. Bwahaha!"

I will admit something to you. Just like an adolescent boy that thinks about sex every other minute, I too do this... but with food! The hamster wheel goes something like this:
  • 7 AM ~ I should eat breakfast, although I'm not hungry. It is the most important meal of the day after all.  
  • 8:30 AM ~ Hmm.. is it time to eat again?? They say your body goes into starvation mode after 2-3 hrs. Oh! It's not 9:30 yet? I'll wait till then.
  • 9:25 AM ~ Well, it's close enough to 9:30. I'm gonna snack now. Nom Nom Nom.
  • 11:00 AM ~ Damn! Why didn't I pack another snack??? Lunch isn't until 1 PM and I'm starving! I'll just grab one fun size Snicker bar from the candy lady. It's only 50 calories. It's fine.
  • 11:30 AM ~ Aw, man.... I ate 3 fun size Snickers. Probably shouldn't have done that.
  • 1 PM ~ Whoo Hoo! Sweet freedom it's finally lunch time! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat dooooooo IIIIIIII eaaaaaaaat!?! I can't decide on what to eat and my precious lunch hour is whittling away. I'll just grab some Wendy's since it's close by. I should get a 'healthy' sub from Subway, but I really don't want that. I want that burger I saw on tv last night! Yes... that will be really good.
  • 1:45 PM ~ WHYYYYYY? Why did I eat that big burger and fries. Now I feel sleepy and heavy and bloated. Okay. Let's just get some coffee to make it through the afternoon.
Etc, etc, etc.. on and on it goes! All day. Every day. Sounds exhausting, no? This is the plight of the emotional eater. :) So what can we do to fix this problem?

Meal Plan

It's comes down to that old saying of "Fail to plan and you plan to fail". It's so much easier for me not to obsess about food when I already know what I'm eating throughout the day. If you're like me, here are some great links to help you get started! 

Wiki-How has a very detailed process on how to meal plan.

Loved Parade's explanation of meal planning. They make it like a smooth and easy process.  

Eating Well tells you what to eat, if you don't want to have to think about it.

You can be walked through it in baby steps with Organized Home.

So do you do meal planning? I've found that I really like it, because all I have to do is follow the plan. 


October 21, 2014

Weekly Wishes #24


 Greetings Friends!
Its that time again for weekly wishes! Did you set any goals for last week? If so, how did they go? Are you just joining me? Let me explain what happens for Weekly Wishes..

The Happenings: You share your weekly, monthly, or yearly goals/wishes/achievements and you get to be a part of this big group of people that are doing the same thing. Yay! Wanna join in? Check out The Nectar Collective and add a link to your blog!
Hello and Happy Tuesday! I don't know where you are, but I hope it's been as beautiful there as it has been here in Atlanta. Fall generally has great weather, no? It generally has weather that's not too hot and not too cold. Although I will admit that I do blast the heat in the car on the way to work..... And have the seat warmers on. :) I find it odd that plants here a still blooming. It's almost like Spring except that leaves are falling and stink bugs are out all over the place.

 So what's been going on with you? I feel like I'm going through a period of personal growth lately. I think this weeks wishes will reflect that.

 So let's talk about what happened Last Week...
Last Weeks Wishes
  • Can I be honest with you? Just between you and me... I'm a little (a lot) nervous about getting back into coding or even studying how to code. A while back, I took and advanced class to learn how to code. Initially I was geeked about learning something new. Then I got in class and felt like a complete and utter dunce. It made me a little discouraged and afraid to dive back in. What if I'm not good at it and all the negative voices in my head are right?? I let my fears convince me to not crack open one studying session this week. You know what that means.. I gotta put it back on the list for this week!
  • Now I was all over de-cluttering the living room! Done and done! I even got rid of quite a few articles of clothing and made tons of room in the closet. It felt really good. I plan on getting rid of even more at some point. Maybe I'll tackle shoes next.
  • Sometime last week I finally saw a little light in the tunnel of my darkened creative tunnel. Yay! I posted about this really kool street art mural and it among other things got my imagination moving right along.


This Weeks Wishes

  •  Here we are again at doing some studying for coding. The Boo and I decided to have studying night some time this week. I'm thinking Wednesday. It will be a nice little mid-week break from the norm. I haven't decided if I'm going the book route or the online lesson method. We shall see.
  • So like I was saying at the top, I really feel like I'm in a state of growth. I'm been surrounding myself with positive sayings, words, and pictures. I'm excited that Deepak and Oprah will be having another free 21 day meditation series starting November 3rd. I figure I may as well get a head start and get back into meditation and journaling. I want to meditate for at least a couple minutes every day and maybe journal twice this week.
  • This morning when I came into work, one of my co-workers noticed a few people with the cup warmers I've made. When he inquired where they came from, I was delighted to inform him that I was the source of such colorful creations. Now I have an order to do one for him! Yay! My goal is to finish it by Friday. :)

Do did anything inspire you this week? What did you put on your list to scratch off? I'll be here. Tell me, I'd like to know!



October 17, 2014

She's Licking the Floor..


Hello friends & Happy Friday! I decided that one of my goals for this weeks Weekly Wishes was to find some art to inspire me and jump start my creative juices. For me, looking at other peoples creativity seems to ignite ideas inside of my own mind. The same thing happens when I watch Project Runway... I have no idea how to make any type of garments, but my hands always seems to start itching to make something! I generally just pull out some yarn and start crocheting or drag out my sketch pad and just doodle!

I was scouring the internet for art that caught my attention and this painting totally made me laugh! I really love and appreciate street art. It always seems to have some sort of humor, deep thought, or optical illusion attached to it. This mural has a softness to it, like watercolor paints (even though they aren't watercolors) and humor. I totally dig this and kudos to whomever the artist is. I'm sure it was no easy feat! The thing that's killing me is that the tongue is so life like.... I love it!

Honorable Mention: The sky this morning was just beautiful! Half the sky was covered in the dark ominous clouds and the other half was clear with fiery red and orange colors. It was as if the sky was on fire! There was a plane flying through as well that added dramatic effect. It appeared to be dragging the 'fire' with it. :)

What has inspired you today or this week?



October 15, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday: What I Learned from Tim Gunn

Greetings friends!

I luh-ove watching Project Runway! I’ve been watching it since Season 6 and I’m still addicted. Tim is without a doubt my favorite person on there. I even feel like he’s missing when I watch Project Runway All Stars. There just isn’t the same warm and fuzziness on there without him. Although I still love watching All Stars too! I was thinking about what Tim always says to a designer when it looks like they are in serious trouble with their outfit…. 

“Make It Work”

I think that these words apply not just to the designers, but to life in general especially when it comes to taking care of yourself. I’ve been trying to think of ways to stay motivated to work out and when to fit it into my daily schedule. The only answer is like Tim says, “Make it Work”. Sometimes I like working out before work, specifically when I wake up at 5 in the AM for no reason…. I figure may as well be productive! :o) At the same time though I don’t mind working out after work. My body is more flexible by then, I’m actually awake, and I feel like I get a better work out…

 I pretty much stick to aerobics, walking or yoga (which is my favorite). And speaking of which, DoYouYoga has a great website that I like to go to, to get inspired! I think yoga is my favorite, because you work on your mind and your body. Plus, I don't always feel like jumping and dancing around like a maniac trying to get a good work out in. 

So do you work out? If, so what’s your favorite time of day and activity? Share your thoughts! :)



October 14, 2014

Weekly Wishes #23


Greetings Friends!
Its that time again for weekly wishes! Did you set any goals for last week? If so, how did they go? Are you just joining me? Let me explain what happens for Weekly Wishes..

The Happenings: You share your weekly, monthly, or yearly goals/wishes/achievements and you get to be a part of this big group of people that are doing the same thing. Yay! Wanna join in? Check out The Nectar Collective and add a link to your blog!
Welcome to a new week peeps! I for one am having a great week so far and I hope you are too! Over the weekend while I was out and about it was raining, so I finally got to wear my rain boots! I swear it rained every other day.... Up until the point that I actually got the fecking boots! It's been weeks since I've bought them and now I finally have and will get to wear them again today. Yippie! :) They're cute, right?

 So let's talk about what happened Last Week...
Last Weeks Wishes
  • I was able to work on the baby blanket pretty much every day last week and some on the weekend. It's a slow process right now, because my wrist tendons are somewhat inflamed right now. I do a little bit everyday and it's exciting to see it grow. I even went to my crochet group on Friday and hung out with the ladies at Starbucks! Crochet... Pumpkin Spice... Laughter.. Can't beat that, right?
  • Writing out a schedule for my meals really worked for me last week! It was great! I mainly focused on dinner as far as what I was going to cook and/or eat on a certain night. I stuck to it all for one day. This is still a total success in my book. The ultimate goal here is to stop eating out so much. Plus I'm just really tired of fast food. Cooking at home forces me to eat different things and maybe throw in a vegetable or two. :)
  • I wanted to exercise at least 4 times last week and I ended up doing 3 or of 4. I'm still happy with this. I was really tired last week, but I'm totally feeling the benefit of the exercise this week thus far. It always seems to take my body about a week to catch and realize that I'm exercising more or eating right. Are you like that too or do you see results right away?


This Weeks Wishes

  •  I really want to make a concentrated effort to get some studying in this week for coding. I tried to yesterday while I was on my breaks at work, but the internet on my phone didn't want to be agreeable. I plan on studying at least two nights this week. 
  • As sad as I am to admit this, I really need to de-clutter my living room. It's one of those situations where you have a series of days where you are knackered and purse, yarn, shoes, lunch bags, and laptops, just get thrown on the couch and/or tables with promises thrown over the shoulder to put them away soon. Soon hasn't really come yet, but I want to remedy that this week!
  • I've felt a little on the non-creative side lately and so I've decided to make it my personal business to find some art that inspired me and gets some juices flowing.

What's in store for you this week? I hope you accomplish everything you set out to do! What keeps you inspired?


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