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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Other Side Of Thin ... Part One


For as long as I can recall I have always been referred to as "petite" both in height (5'2 1/2") ~ yes that half inch matters, just ask any 5' something gal..LOL.~  and body size.  In 2006 my weight was steady between 110 - 117 lbs. ; I was wearing a size two, and shopping for clothes, bathing suits, even shoes was a breeze. This had been my normal for the previous 10 or so years. Now this isn't the first time I have mentioned needing to loose a little weight nor the first time I write about the importance of eating/living healthy ~ just in March I wrote about it Here and Here. What is different this time is that for the first time in my life, I'm feeling what it's like to be on the other side of thinYup, all 145 lbs of me!

I know what some of you may be thinking ~ "But you have been through so much the past five years"; "You know, when you are forty-something it's not as easy to keep it off"; "Meds, you know, they really make you retain water and put on the weight"; " You know, now you have limits, you really should be grateful you are alive, don't worry ~ IT happens to all of us sooner or later" my personal favourite "You look so healthy, you have gained weight!". Yes, someone (actually 2 persons) have told me the last statement recently. And yes, each statement is true (well the last one, in my opinion I looked very good and healthy before) but I was never one for excuses and  well I'm not about to start now.  The reality is that I'm not able to be as active I do have some limitations now, and yes meds and perhaps age are contributors; but I just do not feel comfortable. Clothes no longer fit and when I am able to get them on - they certainly don't look like they did even a year ago. I'm no longer comfortable in my own skin, physically and emotionally. This feeling is something I knew about, but it was foreign, unknown , it did not apply to me,  until now.

The irony here is that as I made my way through Chic & Slim the original by Anne Barone ( it is a fabulous must read) a bag of Easter jelly beans, you know the yummy sugary ones in the softest of colours, kept some how finding it's way to my hand and these must have been some magic Easter jelly beans ... once close enough jumped from hand to mouth in large groups! Can you believe the nerve, of these little beans?

We have all heard "French women don't get fat" well I can tell you on my trips to Paris I have seen some women who my wonderful friends may refer to as "healthy". But , there is a difference ~ these women are toned, and don't try to hide under sweat suits, canopy  large dresses ~ they remain comfortable in their skin! and what they also have is will power. They may have REALLY enjoyed the holiday menu , but they will not  deprive themselves of the foods they love and they will only eat what they truly savour. Before you can blink, they are back to zipping up their little black dress and attending the next holiday affair.

So, looking back on my journey to the other side of thin; there are some obvious contributors that were/are beyond my control, so instead of dwelling on them I am going to work on what I can change.

While growing up in Portugal ... my grandmother would always say "Noa seja gulosa comer so o que voce realmente gosta"  when it was time for the dessert table ... in other words don't be greedy and eat all the sweets, eat only what you really enjoy. This style of eating which I learned as a small child had grown with me through my youth and into adulthood, not only with desserts but food as well. So, this my friends is how I'm going to look at food ~ I'm going to ask myself "do I really enjoy this food? and truly savour each bite" in hopes of stopping the revolving door of eating just to eat, which somehow has become the norm. Eating needs to be viewed as part of one's lifestyle, thus it needs to fit accordingly.


Do you eat only what you really enjoy ? and truly savour it ....
or Do you find yourself eating just because it's there? 




Friday, April 27, 2012

Good Friends, Good Food = Great Memories

Sometimes we get so rolled up in all the things that we have to do in life that we forget to do the one most important thing ~ LIVE IT  and really savour the small moments ~ like a meal with a friend. Neither the setting nor the meal needs to be fancy, the important thing is that you take some time to just DO IT!


Well, that's just what one of my Besties and I did. We decided some friend time was long over due. With help from our Home Assistant I prepare some nibbling foods and of course  tea, for this impromptu luncheon. 

We set the table with a pink, white, and hint of green tablecloth and added some potted purple market tulips in a pale blue decorative ceramic pot, to remind us spring is here.

The colour pallet was kept soft, again to keep spring in the air...

The napkins were a tribute to our rose garden planted last summer. A golden tortoise shell napkin ring giving   homage to the earth, that grows our lovely flowers, was used.

The china is Limoges from France in a delightful sprinkling of bluish and pink flowers...

There was plenty of food ... seafood finger nibblies, salad. Bestie  brought some onion buns,Asian custard tarts (YUMMY) and strawberries.

Mr. G captured the moment... and we went about enjoying a couple hours of catching up and enjoying spending time together. Of course this is my Foodie & Travel Bestie, so lots of talk on food and travel.

We finished our meal and lingered in planning our next girl's travel escape, over a wonderful cup of tea. The tea served in my Lady Carlyle by Royal Albert teapot and teacups is from Mariage Frères, which I brought back from my Paris trip in October 2011.
Pink and white roses from my Bestie!!!

When was the last time you enjoy a simple meal with a Bestie for no reason?


Joining:


Show Off Your Cottage Monday




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

IT's RUFF work being a Big Brother...



If you haven't heard yet, This is my new little baby sister. Her name is Gabbana ... I really wuff her .. but she gets into everything (that is mine)....


RUFF!! RUFF!! she always tries to get Rover, even though he is 3 times her size....




Nope not this time.....


I almost got it.....



Ahhhhhh!!!.... Victory again...


Uhmmm... that's my cabin... I know you are a dog too! but that's my cabin...!!!

Mr. Pink Bunny ... my big brother barks.. if I take Rover one more time .. you are his... Don't worry I got you!!!


Ahhhhh Peace and Quiet  at last ... she must be scared I'll take away her Mr. Pink Bunny...


Not ready to go in... come get me if you can....

Going outside you use be so simple ....




bark!!! bark!!! You can't catch me..


Ruff! Rufff! where is everybody ??? They forget we are outside?....



OOPS!! wrong door... Ruff .. let me in!!! I don't think they can hear me....


I'll show you how it's done !!! RUFFF! RUFF!! ....


Dolce, if you show me how to get out of this shirt ... I promise to not bite your toys anymore....

RUFF.... I'll think about it.....

Till next time Paws, Dolce...

Joining
Daphne at Flips & Pearls for Semi-Wordless Wednesday


Sunday, April 22, 2012

LISTEN UP ...the Universe is Speaking ...


Though there are many things that I am grateful for and truly know I have been blessed with. This knowledge and acknowledgement does not prevent the darkness from taking over on occasions. As up beat as I have been trying to keep my writing (posts) I must confess that things have certainly not been good. I seem to have misplaced my rose-colored glasses for looking at life.


When one loses their rosy-colored glasses it is easy for the darkness to take over and feed the fears, that lay just beneath the surface.


But the universe, tries to send us messages... be it by a song, a word(s) that keep repeating throughout the day, something you read, it's endless the way messages are sent ...

When I started off to post today... it was going to be something along the lines that I would be taking a little blogging break. But as I clicked through the internet these are the things that kept coming up...



Quotes found here

It appears my rose colored glasses have somehow dropped into my computer... and helping me to see that I have much work to do.



So, my friends I will not be taking a blogging break (though I may post a little less), I will be focusing on how to keep moving forward creating a me and a life that fits. I will be focusing on being more inspirational not just by words and small actions ... but by example and actions...


I hope that the quotes that have turned my day around will also (if you are having a dark day or just need a gentle reminder) turn your day around!


I am thankful for not only the great things that today is inspiring me to move forward, but most of all I am Thankful to be given the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others.







Joining:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Afternoon Inspired by the original Tea Menu of the Titanic..

As we all settle in to the various events and festivities paying tribute to Titanic, it's important to remember the lives that were lost on the tragic days of April 14th & 15th 1912.
In the time of Titanic afternoon tea was a grand affair, ladies and gentlemen dressed for afternoon tea. So what better way to pay tribute than with an Afternoon Tea inspired by the menu served on the Titanic. And what more magical place than at Windsor Arms Hotel (Toronto, Canada). 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A look at my Mail Box


Through blogging I have come to learn that you are never alone nor are you going through life's detours by yourself. Monthly, weekly and sometimes daily (on-line) interactions you have with strangers ... in time evolves into a friendship ... for a stranger is only a friend you have not yet met. It does not matter that you have not met in person, you form a genuine friendship, with each click on the keyboard.

Mary author of Hopefilled Living blog is one of the special friends I have had the honour of getting to know and develop a genuine friendship over the past couple of years. Mary has and continues to overcome various detours when it comes to health, BUT she is never too ill (despite some serious times) to think of others. In the middle of serious health detours both with herself and her daughter, Mary realized that there were many people in BlogLand that could use a special friend and used her limited energy to create Blogging Sisters.
Participants were assigned secret Blogging Sisters at the beginning of 2012 ( the reveal will come in December). Through out the year, they send their Blogging Sister little notes, cards, letters, to remind the  Blogging Sister she is not alone and someone she is yet to know, is keeping her in thought and prayer. When  I receive something from my Blogging Sister, it often arrives during a week when I could really use a little smile. Last week, I received a wonderful handwritten card, a fabulous hand crafted tray mat and tea, wishing me a wonderful Easter. I tell you my friends, I am most blessed. Thank you to my Secret Blogging Sister, for bringing a bit of sunshine to my day.

This week, the mail man delivered yet another package of sunshine, one from Mary herself.
 In the spirit of spring and new beginnings, there were some beautiful flower seeds, I can't wait to plant and watch grow ...

A lovely and heart warming handwritten note...
and a gorgeous necklace, which Mary created especially for me... I can't wait to wear it.

I also would like to share some other things that I have received over the past few weeks...


 Cami author of First Day of My Life  blog hosted Get Lucky Swap for St. Patricks Day. I was partnered with Melody author of Melody-Mae blog. Melody sent me a wonderful CD titled A Fine Pair of Misfits, recorded by her daughter and son-in-law. I'm so happy to share with you, that my friends and I have fallen for these wonderfully talented Christian musicians. I wish I knew how to upload a little sample for you to hear ..BUT if you visit their website you will be able to listen to a sample. Thank you Cami for hosting such a fabulous swap and Melody thank you for sharing this amazing CD.


I was the lucky winner of a give-away hosted by Une femme d' un Certain Age featuring gorgeous set of author signed cards from La Fourchette S'est Emballée These cards are so beautiful that I am tempted to frame them for myself, but as you know I love to send cards and they will be sent to some special friends. MERCI!! Mon Amis for hosting such a fabulous give-away!!
I hope you have enjoyed a look at what has arrived in my mail box lately. If you have a chance I encourage you to stop by the BlogLand homes of these wonderful ladies.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's day is made a little brighter when a smile arrives in the mail box, If you would like to make someone's day, why not become a BlogLand Pen Friend, click here to find more.







Joining:





Never Growing Old


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's a girl !! our family is growing...




Can't wait to share photos of Dolce and Gabbana later this week. Like her older brother Dolce, Gabbana is a Yorkie. They are actually half siblings, same Father and different Mother.






Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter more than chocolate...

Easter is certainly more than chocolate and bunnies, though it's interesting that most children think Easter is just that. It's important to teach children and remind ourselves that there is certainly more to Easter, than the commercialization of bunnies and chocolate.

Here are a few highlights of some of the symbols we use to represent this Holy time of the year.The bunny actually represented abundance new life, reminding us of spring and new beginnings.


The egg symbolizes the rock tomb from which Jesus emerged and arose again.



During the week-end of Easter I keep the side buffet ready for a cup of tea to be enjoyed with unexpected guests. Our pastry and chocolate chef Louis Lapin is ready and waiting...







Orchids are one of my favourite flowers, this was a teacup set gifted to me a couple years ago, by my bestie L.


The inside has a delicate pink orchid to greet you - each time you take a sip. The outside and saucer are also detailed with the pink orchids.

The white blossoms of the lilies , represents Jesus's purity... During Holy Week, Mr. G. and I enjoy sitting and taking a few moments each day to reflect on the reason we celebrate Easter.


The rosary ... The cross symbolizes victory over death. 

I have always loved collecting rosaries, especially unique ones, for either age or just the beauty they are. The rosary above is the newest one to my collection... In January my dear friend Debby - author of Inspired Design hosted a giveaway for a $40.00 gift certificate from Blue Room Gems, visiting the artist's (Jen)on-line boutique I was blown away by all the wonderful pieces Jen creates. When I saw this wonderful piece ... I knew that if I won, I would use my gift certificate towards the rosary. Imagine my excitement when I discovered my entry had been selected!!!

We use the teacups and saucer set we purchased on our visit to the Empress Hotel in Victoria B.C. in 2008.


These cupcakes are quite possibly the most delicious cupcakes I have sunk my teeth into. They are bite size and perfect for enjoying with tea and catching up with friends.   

This teapot and it's purple ribbon were perfect for our tea setting. Purple is the colour of royalty. At Easter purple not only represents the kingship of Jesus, but it's also a reminder of the robe that the soldiers put on him as they mocked him prior to the crucifixion. 




We added a butterfly etching in stone to our setting as the butterfly is a significant symbol of Easter. It's whole life cycle symbolizes the life of Jesus. The caterpillar stage represents his time here on earth.    The crucifixion and burial is symbolized by the cocoon stage. The final stage represents His raising from the dead in a brilliance of body and peace.

From our home to yours wishing you a wonderful Passover and Easter.









Joining these fabulous parties:

Seasonal Sundays


Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi
Tea Party Tuesday ~ with Trish
Martha's Terri's Tea Time Tuesday

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